This is a glorious retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and I must say that I loved it. For one thing, in this version Jane is Korean; and I love it when I get a glimpse into another culture. Park draws such a wonderful story of intimate family life within both Jane’s family, and the family Jane works as a babysitter for.
This book is chock-full of many ideas to ponder. First, there is the “problem” of Jane being half-American and half-Korean. Then, Jane must continue being reverential to her Aunt and Uncle who have raised her; while at the same time she has to come to grips with the fact that her promised job after graduating from college has disappeared. Looking for a way out, Jane takes a job as an au pair for a college professor (Beth Mazer) and her much younger high school teacher husband (Ed Farley). Once Jane moves in, she is “educated” in Women’s Studies by Beth. These new ideas rattle around in Jane’s head while she is also dealing with the knowledge that she is attracted to Ed. Later on, we also get to tag along on a trip to Korea, where Jane finds out more about her late parents, a mystery that has plagued her all her life. Many ideas have been covered in this book, and I must say that Park covered them well.
I won’t let the cat out of the bag, I’ll just tell you that the writing was excellent, the descriptions of Korean/American life are illuminating, and the story itself is interesting. I stayed up late finishing the book, eager to find out how it all ended and was not disappointed. I highly recommend this book!